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Mt. Huntington

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L to R R to L Alpha
Harvard Route, The 
West Face Couloir T 

Mt. Huntington  


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Elevation: 12,240'
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Administrators: Jared LaVacque, Dommelhiemer, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: George Bell on Aug 1, 2008
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The west face of Mt. Huntington from the Upper Tok...

Register with the NP Mountaineering Headquarters in Talkeetna, AK before climbing in the park!

Description 

Mt. Huntington was named after Archer Milton Huntington, former President of the American Geographical Society, sponsor of an early expedition up the Northwest branch of the Ruth Glacier. Unlike McKinley, Foraker, and Hunter, the mountain is not visible from "the plains" (i.e. Talkeetna) and for this reason apparently has no native name (like Denali, Sultana, and Begguya). From the upper Ruth or Tokasitna Glaciers, it appears as an impressive fang of snow or granite.

One defining feature of Mt. Huntington is there is no easy route to or from the summit. In fact, this peak sports arguably the lowest summit percentage of any peak in the Alaska range. Many an expert ice climber has raced with ease up the lower portions of the Nettle-Quirk, only to be humbled by loose, unconsolidated snow on the upper portion of the peak.

Mt. Huntington was first climbed in 1964 by a team led by the legendary French alpinist Lionel Terray, and received its first winter ascent in 2007 by Jed Brown and Colin Haley. I estimate that fewer than 100 people have stood on the summit of Mt. Huntington. When Kelly Cordes and Scott DeCapio completed the first one-day ascent of the mountain in 1998, Cordes commented, "I now understand why so many people stop at, ahem, 'the end of the difficulties.' "

The rock on the west face of Mt. Huntington is generally excellent granite. The north face is primarily steep snow and is quite dangerous (it has only been climbed once). The south and east sides of the peak have mixed snow, ice and rock routes, generally longer than routes on the west face.

Mt. Huntington has graced the covers of many climbing magazines. The mountain was profiled in Alpinist #20 (Summer 2007).


Getting There 

Fly to the Ruth or Tokasitna Glaciers. Most of the routes are better reached from the Tokasitna (upper or lower).

Further Reading 

"The Mountain of My Fear" by David Roberts is the classic tale of the first ascent of the Harvard Route. Available from the publisher Mountaineers Books or from amazon.com.

Lionel Terry's account of the first ascent is in the 1965 American Alpine Journal, you can download this for free. Search for "Huntington Lionel Terray" on the AAJ search page

Climbing Season



Weather station 38.1 miles from here

2 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]


Featured Route For Mt. Huntington
Summit ridge

The Harvard Route WI3 M6 C1 Steep Snow  AK : Denali National Park : ... : Mt. Huntington
The classic line on Huntington. The first ascent took 3 weeks, the current speed record is around 13 or 14 hours. Time required with largely be dictated by conditions. If the upper ice face isn't a dangerous slab and the lower angle sections allow for fast travel doing the route in a day camp to camp is a reasonable objective, however this is oftentimes not the case. The description here is from late May 2014, a year with incredibly good conditions. This description will make much more sense if ...[more]   Browse More Classics in AK

Photos of Mt. Huntington Slideshow Add Photo
Like a shark fin, the summit of Mt. Huntington pok...
Like a shark fin, the summit of Mt. Huntington pok...
A view from Harvard Rt. down Stegosaurus towards M...
A view from Harvard Rt. down Stegosaurus towards M...
Mt Huntington
Mt Huntington
French Ridge, cover of Climbing #129
French Ridge, cover of Climbing #129
JB. high on the Harvard Route West Face of Hunting...
JB. high on the Harvard Route West Face of Hunting...
Doug Geeting landing on the Tokositna after days o...
Doug Geeting landing on the Tokositna after days o...
Jeff Burton following on The Harvard Rt. 1994.
Jeff Burton following on The Harvard Rt. 1994.
Cover of Climbing #65
Cover of Climbing #65
Cover of Alpinist #20.  This is a famous Bradford ...
BETA PHOTO: Cover of Alpinist #20. This is a famous Bradford ...
Mt Huntington and. the West Face
Mt Huntington and. the West Face
finishing seconding the nose pitch on the Harvard ...
finishing seconding the nose pitch on the Harvard ...

Comments on Mt. Huntington Add Comment
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By CDC
Feb 6, 2014
David Roberts 1965 Harvard route ascent"The Mountain of my Fear" should be included in the History of this peak!